Master of Public Administration

University of San Francisco - School of Management

Program Description

Master of Public Administration

University of San Francisco - School of Management

Develop workable solutions for the common good while working toward an exciting career in public management.

Navigate the intersection of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Translate theory into practice and begin implementing the policy that supports your community.

Our MPA program prioritizes hands-on experience that prepares you to address the public interest through the collection and analysis of evidence essential for implementing public service strategies.

A flexible class schedule helps working professionals balance their busy lives, while small class sizes promote one-on-one attention and deeper relationship building.

About the Master of Public Administration Program

  • Typical program length is 21 months, with 38 credits.
  • Classes offered on Saturday.
  • Preferred but not required - two years of professional work experience, including internships.
  • A wide range of scholarship and financial aid options.
  • Classes begin each fall at USF’s Downtown San Francisco campus. Also offered in a 100% online format.
  • Accredited by NASPAA, the foremost membership organization of graduate programs in public administration, public policy, public affairs, and public & nonprofit management in the US and around the world.
  • Ranked among the Best Public Affairs Programs by the U.S. News & World Report.


USF is not currently accepting applications from online students who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio (MPH, MSIM) and Wisconsin. Additionally, USF is not currently accepting applications for online students for the MSN and DNP online programs who reside in Louisiana, Maine, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

Note, residents of states where USF is not authorized for online education may attend USF courses and programs at any of our California based campuses. Please check for changes in status for all other states.

Program Details, Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the MPA with an emphasis in Health Services Administration (MPA/HSA) programs provide mid-career and aspiring professionals with an opportunity to obtain advanced managerial education applicable to a broad range of public sector, nonprofit, and healthcare organizations. The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).


We prepare our graduates for public leadership by advancing a challenging curriculum while pursuing complementary research and transforming learning into acts of consequence to serve our communities, especially the most vulnerable among us.


  • Educate students to be compassionate and effective leaders who humanely manage public organizations.
  • Prepare students to initiate and facilitate interactions between government, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors to provide ethical and workable solutions to societal needs.
  • Create a collaborative environment of excellence in instruction, research, and service.
  • Translate research into effective practices and achievable, humane policies.
  • Prepare students to determine, collect, and analyze the evidence appropriate and essential for implementing public service strategies.

Program Requirements

The On-Campus MPA curriculum is comprised of 38 credits. There are nine core courses, four credits each, and one elective course at two credits. For students pursuing the HSA concentration, two of these courses (PA 717 and PA 760) will be HSA-specific.

The Online MPA curriculum is comprised of 39 credits. There are 13 courses of three credits each.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate leadership behavior through the application of organizational and managerial theories.
  • Identify effective leadership in practice.
  • Identify and discuss the role of public leaders toward recognizing and instituting the principles of democratic governance in public organizations and community-based initiatives.
  • Identify and describe differences between the vision, values, and goals of actors in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors; discuss practical and ethical implications of these differences for public leadership; and discuss disparate impacts for the most vulnerable among us.
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly and effectively recognize changes in workforce and community populations; determine appropriate communication modes and content.
  • Describe superior performance of a diverse workforce and the contribution to this of managerial action and institutional supports.
  • Assess and modify public service, based on cultural competency and citizen feedback.
  • Identify challenges and issues in the U.S. healthcare sector in specific areas of policy, its contemporary legal framework, and management; describe/develop operational responses and managerial adaptations.
  • Determine, collect, and articulate the interests of diverse voices of a community, especially the most vulnerable among us.
  • Develop and apply the critical and analytical thinking skills necessary for effective, informed, and balanced policy analysis.
  • Accurately interpret and communicate analytic research and policy implications to stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate essential analytic skills (qualitative and quantitative).
  • Develop and present informed and balanced results.
  • Report findings and interpret research in recognition of, and with respect for, diverse cultural and historical perspectives; correctly identify limitations and constraints; effectively communicate with elected officials, administrators, issue advocates, and the population at large.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated May 23, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is
Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
21 months
Part time
44,460 USD
USA - San Francisco, California
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
USA - San Francisco, California
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info